We’ve been waiting since January’s Sundance to let this cat out of the bag. Queen of quirk Miranda July’s sophomore drama calls upon a couple who has decided to rescue Paw Paw, a neglected and hopeful chatty kitty who also narrates the story. Believing the impending adoption means life’s over, the two set out to check off their to-do list, which includes making strange interpretive dance videos and selling baby trees door to door. It’s like: An unopened present. Take:Me and You and Everyone We Know. Premieres: Today
We sure do love our mascara, so when we heard this one was seven years in the making, we had to give it a run. The Christmas tree-shaped brush helped cover each lash without clumping. The lightweight, nylon powder formula left our lashes extremely long with a doe-eyed finish a la Twiggy.
Talking Between Public Restroom Stalls: Yea or Nay?
You’re in the middle of a conversation with a co-worker on the way to the bathroom when you enter your respective stalls. Do you continue the discussion or wait until you’re face to face? Two editors sound off on whether or not they’ve got potty mouths.
Yea: Two words — female bonding. What better way to get to know a gal than when you both have your pants wrapped around your ankles? Nay: When it comes to female bonding, I draw the line at asking for a tampon. Plus, you never know who’s listening in on what you’re saying.
Yea: Talking through the stall kills two birds with one stone. You may as well get all your business done at the same time. Nay: Some of us do our best thinking on the pot. How can I concentrate while straining to hear someone’s mindless chatter over my pee stream?
Yea: There is a definitive end time to your conversation. Whereas you might get trapped in the kitchen talking to a co-worker about her overweight cat; simply leaving your stall is an unspoken cue that you’re ready to wrap things up. Nay: Okay. That’s a pretty good point.
Yea: Guys do it at urinals (and without a wall between them), so why can’t we? Nay: Do I need to explain the human reproductive system to you?
Put this playlist on repeat: a solo project (Release the Sunbird) from Rogue Wave’s front man, Little Dragon’s trippy electro, and the cutest cover of “Single Ladies.”
“Little Man,” by Little Dragon “Bad Street,” by Twin Sister “Romance Layers,” by Gang Gang Dance “We Can Make the World Stop,” by The Glitch Mob “It’s All Around You,” by Release the Sunbird “Single Ladies,” by Mr. Little Jeans “God Damn Girl,” by Motopony “Vomit,” by Girls “Too Beautiful to Work,” by The Luyas “Little Cup,” by Mirah & Thao
We were so happy about Eric/Sookie spooning and smooching (finally), we could just leave it at that.
But alas, Bon Temps is just full of trouble. Marni collapses after her second vampire cursing, prompting our favorite line of the whole episode: “You pissed off another vampire and then you took a goddamn nap.” Our thoughts exactly, Mr. Reynolds. Jesus finally gives up on her and he and Lafayette seek the help of Jesus’s goat-killing brujo of a grandpa. Tara keeps saying she is leaving but hasn’t. Stop teasing us and just hit the road already.
Tommy’s holding strong to the role of the troublesome kid who weaseled his way into our good graces. First he’s a victim of Joe Lee, then he beats the daylights out of him and accidentally kills his mama. (No huge loss on either.) Big bro Sam (whose taken quite the periphery role these days) swoops in to save the day, getting rid of the bodies via marshmallow-loving gators, but not before quick-thinking Tommy turns into one himself to stave off crazy Bellefleur.
Hoyt’s softening at Jessica’s caring for Jason leads us to believe that he may just want a mini Mrs. Fortenberry after all. The two seem destined for a breakup at any moment, and single Jess will be a hell of ride. Meanwhile, Jason’s dreams have him back in the rambunctious saddle with a hilarious Hoyt-interrupted fantasy about Jessica, induced by drinking her blood. Thankfully, no Big Mama Kitty this time.
Demon baby apparently has a name — Mikey — but that does nothing to quell his Satanic side. Rev. Daniels and the newly christened Mrs. Daniels (aka Lettie May Thornton) rid the house of demons — or at least they attempted to. When a book of matches bursts into flames in the bedroom, well, it can’t be good. (Side note: Why does everyone in Bon Temps have satin sheets? Arlene has white ones; Jason black ones.)
Eric’s having nightmares about Godric (whose toothy lisp makes him sound less than threatening), revealing by far the most terrifying, backlit Nord yet with his fangs ablazing. Sookie is far too deep of a sleeper for all the danger she courts, but thankfully the situation results in the aforementioned precious spooning.
In other Sookie-why-are-you-so-dumb moments, she goes to the Moon Goddess Emporium (the name never gets better) to find out more about the witches. She sweet talks her way into a reading by Marni only to have Gran come through in what might be the best surprise return the show has had. She tells Sookie to get the hell out while revealing that Sookie is falling in love with the vamp. Let’s be real, who wouldn’t?
After hearing Portia’s creepy proincest arguments, King Bill finally makes a move against the witches at decaying Pam’s behest, arresting Marni to discover she really knows nothing of her spells. A convening of Louisiana sheriffs reveals the story of the goddess, Antonia, a witch burned at the stake in 1610 Spain who used necromancing to pull vampires from their sleep into the true death. (Leading Bill to reveal that fangers were part of the all-powerful church in the 1600s, and they can now be found at Google and Fox News. Brilliant.)
All of this talk gets Pam riled up and she uncharacteristically gives up Eric’s hiding place. Which means Bill is about to interrupt the love sesh at the Stackhouse abode that took five episodes to get to. Buzzkill.
Mike Cahill’s compelling debut drama is another fascinating film unearthed at this year’s Sundance. The flick shoots for the stars with a bit of science fiction in the form of Earth 2, a second world hosting a second you. Star (and co-writer) Brit Marling, playing a girl seeking redemption after killing a man’s family, is stellar, while Fall on Your Sword’s thumping sound is out of this world. We dare you not to give it a standing ovation. It’s like:21 Grams making Contact. Take: A Trekkie and a Milky Way. Premieres: Today
We take our old school with the new (remastered R.E.M., an RHCP album teaser, and new beats from Theophilus London, Crystal Antlers, and Portugal the Man).
“Summer Solstice,” by Crystal Antlers “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie,” by Red Hot Chili Peppers “Got It All (This Can’t Be Living Now),” by Portugal the Man “Never Knew Love,” by They Might Be Giants “Darling, It’s True,” by Locksley “Ode to Janice Melt,” by Army Navy “Why Even Try,” by Theophilus London, featuring Sara Quin “Lady of Late,” by Priory “The Flowers of Guatemala,” by R.E.M. “Sugar,” by Young Prisms
Fae blood turns out to be like tequila for vamps, as we meet our dear Eric drunk after draining Sookie’s fairy godmother. He pinches her butt, tries to get her to chase him, and would probably snap her bra straps next. Fired up with sunny intoxication, Eric stays out past daybreak, prompting Sookie to reach out to Alcide yet again. The hunky werewolf shows up in his six-pack glory, tracking Eric to a nearby watering hole. But even lack of memory doesn’t dissuade our Viking from showing his suspiciously longer-looking fangs while Alcide growls (to which, it must be said, we’d be happy to growl back). The testosterone fest ends quickly as Eric starts to sizzle when the blood wears off. He throws himself a pity party.
Bill is still hunting for his missing sheriff but is getting nowhere, despite cocky attempts at asserting his power. Pam all but tells him to f#!% off, and Sookie sweet talks him into not searching her/Eric’s house. Nan is breathing down his neck, and his newest lady companion turns out to be his great-great-great-granddaughter. That’s a risk you run when you live a century or two. King Compton has had better days.
Meanwhile, poor Jason is being used like the star horse at a stud farm. When the next gal up is the reluctant young one, he has a moment of tenderness, convincing her to save it and assist in his escape. But of course, panthers are pro trackers, and Felton sets off after him. He picks up the escapee’s scent (which we’re guessing is like Axe and a football jersey). Being the wily one he is, Jason fashions a harpoon of sorts and nails Felton right in the neck. Seeing the carnage, a satisfied Crystal declares herself Big Mama Kitty (which sounds more like a amateur porn star to us) and Jason Panther Man (creative). Stockholm syndrome didn’t take to Mr. Stackhouse though, and he swears off her and Hotshot. Exhausted, he starts home, collapsing on the side of the highway only to be found by Hoyt and Jessica, who saves him with her blood. All’s well for now, but we have a feeling all hell will break loose on the next full moon. Also, dirt has healing qualities, say the werepanthers. Who knew?
In the world of the witches, Marni continues to channel her inner goddess, a Spanish witch burned at the stake who really, really loathes vampires. Lafayette, Jesus, and Tara (why is she still here?) try to force her to reverse the spell. Instead, in the group’s final attempt to do so, the vindictive goddess works through Marni to distort the face of abnormally hot Pam. We suggest the witches run far, far away.
And in the most delightfully creepy moment of the entire show, Arlene’s evil baby gets hold of a red marker and scrawls BABY NOT YOURS across the wall — all while sitting next to the evil dirty doll from Jessica. A little part of us wanted sweetiepants Terry to be right, but there’s no going back after this.
We all have secrets locked away. Everyday Joe Schmo Ben prefers to keep his in the basement and the yard. His secret: murdering cute blondes who resemble Lucy, a kooky parakeet lover who keeps Ben in the friend zone — until he wins the lottery. Most bet on Colin Hanks’s brooding role to carry the lighthearted, murderous story, but our money’s on Ari Graynor’s wackadoo. It’s like:Ted Bundy meets I Love Lucy. Take: A poor, unfortunate soul. Premieres: Today
Pretty Smart: Deodorants That Work… and Those That Don’t
Our editors tested nearly 100 deodorants. We had our favorites, but it wasn’t all blossomy bouquets and sweat-free tennis games.
“Its gold packaging and fancy-pants crest made me want to douse myself in it, but it smelled like a funeral home.”
“I was really wary going into this one. The fact that it’s a powder and has an unsexiness disclaimer on the label didn’t help. Neither did the thyme and rosemary scent. By the end of my run I smelled like roasted chicken.”
“Ricola! I smelled like a walking, sweating cough drop.”
“Looked like a heavy snowfall had taken place in my arm pit. A friend said, “Maybe it will fade away,” only to point out a few hours later while I was stretching, ‘Your arm frosting is showing.’”
“Unfortunately, I tried this immediately after shaving my arm pits and the stinging was almost unbearable. I thought about trying it again the next day to see if I liked it any better the second time, but I was terrified and wimped out.”
“A slightly damp feeling in my pits was something I couldn’t shake.”
“Spraying liberally means leaving your arms up in the air while pits drip-dry. And I do mean drip-dry — the formula dripped down my sides to my waist.”
We’re feeling so chill now that Washed Out’s first full-length is finally here (plus new Björk, Mister Heavenly, and a minimalistic James Blake).
“You and I,” by Washed Out “Still Sound (Voodoo Bear Remix),” by Toro y Moi “Crystalline,” by Björk “Order,” by James Blake “Orange Blossom,” by Gardens & Villa “Heaven,” by Eleanor Friedberger “Bronx Sniper,” by Mister Heavenly “Our Perfect Disease,” by The Wombats “Swimsuits,” by The Cool Kids, featuring Mayer Hawthorne
When your mom sent you a friend request on Facebook, you swore the site couldn’t get any more invasive. Then couples started sharing daily musings on each other’s wall. Two editors sound off on PDA (posted displays of affection).
Yea: Writing on your beau’s Facebook page is like a dog marking a fire hydrant. It’s the most effective way to stake out your territory. Nay: If you were confident in the relationship and trusted your man, you wouldn’t feel the need to pee all over his page.
Yea: The more active you are on Facebook, the more you pop up in people’s news feeds. That means when you communicate with your boo, in a way, you’re catching up with the people you don’t want or have time to catch up with. Nay: You make an excellent point for all the antisocial people out there. Just one question: Why are they on Facebook in the first place?
Yea: It’s endearing to see a couple celebrating an anniversary or simply sharing a sweet sentiment for the world to see. Nay: Just what the world needs – more “shmoopies.” We love romance as much as the next poker, but some things are meant to be shared behind walls, not on them.
Yea: To quote Buddy the Elf, “I’m in love, I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it.” Nay: Buddy the Elf also wore a green, faux-trimmed jacket and matching hat. Would you? Actually, don’t answer that. Pretty sure we saw you in something similar last winter.
Let’s start with the good stuff. Eric lends words to the scent of a fairy (it’s like honey, wheat, and sunshine), while a confused Sookie attempts to drive away. Eric pursues her but is easily subdued into niceties, remembering who – but not what – he is. His Cheshire grin wins Sookie over, and she takes him to her/his house. Sookie washes the vamp’s feet like he’s Jesus. Eric giggles like a ticklish little girl. It might just be his most endearing moment to date – but it gets a run for its money by his embarrassment when his fangs pop out and his calling Sookie Snooki. Pam comes to help her maker, but when she gets short with Sookie, Eric’s nonchalantly tosses his protégé across the room, admonishing Pam to “be nice” to the half fae.
Arguably the only one with good sense, Pam sees through Bill’s plan to set Eric up and asks Sookie to harbor him. Not thrilled with the task, Sookie turns to hunky Alcide for help. But when Sookie shows up at the werewolf’s house, she finds dear ol’ Debbie, who’s cleaned up and found her way back into the Herveaux wolf den. Somehow, she seems creepier off the sauce. Bangs and Vienna sausage aren’t enough to clear the air, and Sookie’s on her own with her dim-witted vamp.
Sincere and baby faced as this new Eric is, he’s more akin to a circus tiger than a domesticated cat – sweet and cute but with an insatiable carnal nature. Case in point: A ferocious feeding on poor Claudine. As readers of the books (Sookie is a fan as well), we’re perplexed by the move. Perhaps Fairyland just didn’t translate to the tube.
Meanwhile, the witches try to make sense of possibly Aryan Eric’s attack while bemoaning their freedom of religion. It does not cross their indignant New Age little minds that raising the dead is a possibility. Lafayette is scared shitless, having experienced the sheriff’s wrath firsthand, and goes to ask his forgiveness. He finds Pam instead. She isn’t exactly pleased with his tale and throws him in the Fangtasia dungeon. Tara (who still lingers, to our dismay) and Jesus come to the rescue, swearing to Pam they will reverse the spell in 24 hours – or else.
Though we thought it wasn’t possible, the werepanthers got more nauseating this episode. Round the fire, while chomping on squirrels, they retell their myth: A panther eats Ghost Mama and Ghost Daddy and then pukes them up. Rather fitting, huh? Crystal gets sexy with the nearly changed, Mexican Viagra-drugged Jason (apparently the new Ghost Daddy) while the rest of the Hot Shot ladies looks on. Perhaps they are all waiting their turns.
Jessica’s feeling guilty after drinking from another man and runs to Papa Bill for some sage advice. (We admit this country club-looking version of him is sort of hot.) But when she comes clean, Hoyt’s flare of anger proves too much to bear. She takes a cheap shot and glamours that puppy dog look right back onto his face. The creepy baby doll they have thrown away several times keeps finding its way home. (Sidenote: Why is Hoyt quasicuddling with it while watching TV?) Being the weasley one she is, Jessica gives it to Arlene’s even creepier baby. It’s fitting, but we have to ask why Arlene lets that filthy thing near the kid. She’s never been one to be polite on principle.
Dolls were apparently a motif in this episode, with Mrs. Fortenberry ordering a Marie Osmond Halloween dolly while Tommy hatches a plan to fleece the curler-wearing busybody.
On a final note, that tank hoodie did Eric no favors. We sure hope his wardrobe returns faster than his memory.
By now, you’ve heard of this one. What you may not know is just how heinous said bosses really are. Though the main characters are a winning trio, the real scene-stealers are Jennifer Aniston’s dirty-mouthed dentist, Kevin Spacey’s evil president of sales, and Colin Farrell’s combed-over cokehead. Our apologies if the riot from Freakonomics’s Seth Gordon conjures up bad memories. It’s like:Swimming with Sharks meets Strangers on a Train. Take: Your colleagues and mix work with pleasure. Premieres: Today
Nothing divides people more than their feelings on adults wearing overalls. Okay, that’s not true. But at least two of our editors can’t agree to disagree on the bibbed issue.
Yea: When worn correctly, overalls evoke a youthful sophistication that emanates a gaiety and attracts a certain jocular admirer. Translation: You look pretty damn cute in ’em. Nay: To quote Amber in Clueless, the most seminal and influential film of all time, “She could be a farmer in those clothes.”
Yea: Pick a strap. Any strap. It’s totally up to you. Make like Left Eye (RIP) and sport the single hook or go farmer style and opt for both. What other garment allows you so many options? Nay: Sure, go ahead and explore those options. Would you like us to also put your hair in pigtails and give you a lollipop?
Yea: Overalls are the rice pilaf of fashion. They’re versatile enough to pair well with just about anything you put them on top of or underneath. Nay: It’s true. There’s nothing like the sexy, seamless silhouette that comes with a top worn over your denim overalls.
Yea: No other article of clothing has those fun little fastener things on it. And that just makes them plain exciting to put on in the morning. Nay: No one likes feeling naked in a public bathroom stall. When you answer nature’s call, can you be completely sure the door is really locked?
The last time we used a mask, it was to re-create our seventh grade sleepover days. Which is why we were ready to give this a go. We were pleasantly surprised by the results: The creamy, seafoam green mixture sat on our face for about fifteen minutes while its mineral-rich Amazonian white clay drew everything to the surface without leaving it dry. Two days later, our skin was still visibly smoother and brighter, which we’ll attribute to soothing oatmeal and aloe vera.
“Born in the USA” just won’t cut it for the rest of this heat. Fire up the download queue with a new, hazy track from Austin’s Pure X, Zola Jesus’s latest single, and our fave song from just-released Player Piano.
“Vessel,” by Zola Jesus “Dry Ice,” by Pure X “Worries,” by Memory Tapes “How Come?” by Avi Buffalo “Ffunny Ffriends,” by Unknown Mortal Orchestra “Far Nearer,” by Jamie Xx “Landforms,” by Other Lives “Streetlight,” by John Maus “Whirring (Innerpartysystem Remix),” by The Joy Formidable “Sun Was High (So Was I),” by Small Black Download the playlist here.
First things first: Eric’s scoop-neck shirt is doing for tank tops what last season’s blue V-neck did for sweaters. Moob cleavage? Hot.
We’re not saying we like his whole “I own you” thing, but if we had to have a protector/landlord, you can bet your blood type that clever scoundrel would top the list. Even if he does build himself a hidden cubby inside our house. (Your point, Northman.) Sookie — who doesn’t quite share our sentiments — marches over to Bill’s newly tripped-out house to ask for help. (Because apparently possession is ten-tenths of the law, and owning Sookie’s house means Eric owns Sookie.) Alas, he can’t, meaning interrupting a graphic (and completely gratuitous) love sesh with his witch snitch is unwarranted.
Then, in what might be the most wonderfully absurd flashback, a gutterpunking Bill meets Nan Flanagan for the first time in ‘82 London. As it turns out, Compton is a double agent. That brings us to what we’ve been dying to know: how in the hell he defeated dear old Sophie Anne to claim the crown. Of course, ever-cunning Nan is behind it, and cowardly Bill (wearing a really awkward hairpiece) is as boring as we thought.
Up in Hotshot, beautiful idiot Jason is being held captive, and V-hyped Crystal wants to use him to procreate and increase the pack. (Incest with Felton ain’t proving so successful.) So the two panthers begin to turn Jason by chowing down on his torso, which looks incredibly painful. But in terms of an LRP, Jason as a werepanther is something we can get behind.
Back in Bon Temps, Jessica strays with a Devon Sawa-esque fangbanger after Hoyt turns down her body-healing blood, saying he doesn’t need “that shit,” which we don’t think is all that bad. Girlfriend’s getting a bit saucy (perhaps due to her new bud, Pam), and we like the attitude far more than whiny teenager.
Meanwhile, Jesus and Lafayette meet their necromancing conven at the embarrassingly named Mood Goddess Emporium. Bringing a deceased parrot back to life is quite the threat to the dead, so King Bill dispatches Eric to threaten the group (we’re thinking this is just a sneaky way to get Sookie). Once there, Eric acts like his badass self, intimidating the witches and biting the leader, Marni. In retaliation, the witches chant Latin mumbo jumbo and leave Eric petrified, vanishing into the night.
Which leads us to our very favorite moment of the episode. Sookie, driving down the road, spots a seemingly amnesia-ridden Eric who doesn’t recognize her when she stops for him. For readers of the books, you know how very excited this makes us for next week and (hopefully) the upcoming shower scene.
The young Welsh writer made a name for himself with his acclaimed short story collections, Love Begins in Winter and The Secret Lives of People in Love. So we had a sneaking suspicion romance would wind itself into his first novel, which follows the lives of three expats living in the summer heat of Athens. There’s Rachel, a French flight attendant/artist who’s never been to Paris; George, a perpetually drunk, soft-hearted Kentuckian with a penchant for fine tailoring; and Henry, a dapper Brit much like Indiana Jones’s professor side. All three have twisted histories but are thrust together in a love triangle amid pristine Mediterranean beaches, ever-flowing wine, and sand-strewn archeological digs. All is peaceful until the ground begins to rumble and shake. We’ll leave it up to you to decide if what’s beautiful begins after, but suffice it to say the exquisite prose and heartbreaking (but never hopeless) emotional honesty make it a worthy read.
In Memory Tapes’s second LP, Player Piano (July 5), lone one-man act Dayve Hawk’s similarly lonely synth sound is sometimes upbeat (“Sunhits,” “Trance Sisters,” “Today Is Our Life”) but always thoughtful (the drums and organ in “Worries” evoke a sense of urgency). We’ll pair it with our next drive off into the sunset.